The Q&A Archives: Varigated Boxleaf Euonymus

Question: I am planting Varigated Boxleaf Euonymus Microphylla as a hedge in my front yard. Underneath the planter bed lie the pipes for the sprinklers and drip system for the front and back yard. There is about 12 inches from where the top of the plant would be to the pipes. Is this enough room for their root system to grow and is this a wise choice for planting in this area with the water pipes? We have grown flowers and ground cover in this particular bed, but this is the first time of trying a shrub of this sort. Will the root system of this plant potentially cause us problems in the future with the pipes being so close to the surface?

Answer: The roots of shrubs like your Euonymus generally remain in the top 10-12 inches of soil and spread out from there. Any roots that penetrate deeper will generally grow around any obstruction, including plastic or metal water pipes. I don't think the roots will cause any damage, however they may invade the pipe if there is a crack in the pipe or in a joint. The roots aren't strong enough to break the pipes, but they will grow towards a water source so if there is an existing leak, the roots will certainly find it.

Hope this answers your question!

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